J Rabie on Wed, 9 Feb 2011 14:43:59 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The beginning of the end?

Hallo Brain, hallo all,

It is always a pleasure to read you, Brian.

Here in France and other countries the Chinese threat is waved 
regularly in our faces (or rubbed in our noses, it all depends) as if 
it is something new yet as far back as I can remember the China 
"threat" was being drummed into our "western consciousness". In those 
days it was "the yellow peril", and we were told that if every obedient 
chinaman and woman jumped at the same time, the resulting earthquake 
would devastate the world. Today the threat that "they are gonna take 
over the economy" is just a cover for the much more real threat wielded 
by business and political leaders that if one is not prepared to work 
more and earn less then a Chinaman is going to get your job so stop 
complaining. So I think that there is collusion between the western 
dominant class and the Chinese dominant class whereby the west 
subcontracts the working class out to China and in exchange they get to 
join the corporate club - which is transnational anyway and financial 
domination makes national domination irrelevant (except in the rhetoric 
of course). Labour in the west is too expensive and despite the likes 
of Sarkozy trying to do in the welfare state, the cost of social 
security remains high; and in China, no niceties like democracy or 
effective labour unions, so the job can get done faster, cheaper, not 
necessarily cleaner.

It is interesting how many large building projects (freeways, dams) are 
being contracted out to Chinese companies all over the world and not 
only in the "third" world. Not only freeways in Algeria, but tunnels in 
Israel - underneath Mount Carmel in the city of Haifa - where the job 
was finished far more quickly than if it had been done by a local 
company (and we know how handy the Israelis are with reinforced 

I don't know if I agree with you, Brain, that we are coming to the end 
of a period. I am very wary about reading regular cycles into 
sequences. There is however a rapport de forces between a small, 
revolted minority and hegemony but for the moment it is far from going 
in the right (left?) direction.

Best wishes -

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